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PICS Hermetic Bags for Safe Storage of grain

Low cost storage technologies for grain

Hermetic bags are air-tight which prevents oxygen and moisture from getting to the grain stored within them. A multi-layer technology is used to modify the environment and restrict gas exchange with the outside atmosphere. Under this system, farmers can store grains for up to two years while retaining their palatability and cooking quality. This ensures that farmers have enough to eat in between harvests and can sell their beans when the price is more favorable. Grain quality is conserved through the regulation of moisture inside the bag and inhibits fungal growth that lead to build-up of carcinogenic mycotoxins. The cooking time of grains preserved in hermetically sealed bags remains the same as freshly dried ones whereas loss of moisture in traditional storage techniques may double the amount of time and energy that is needed for preparing grains as food. A germination test is recommended for the beans stored in hermitic bags if they are intended to be used as planting material.


This technology is TAAT1 validated.


Scaling readiness: idea maturity 9/9; level of use 9/9

Cost: $$$ 2—3 USD

Bag cost for users

ROI: $$$ 90 %

Reduction of loss

50 or 100 Kg

Bag capacity

2 year

Life span




  • Food insecurity and poor livelihoods for small-scale farmers 
  • High post-harvest grain losses due to inadequate storage techniques and pest infestations 
  • Sale of grains at low prices after the harvest


  • Prevents air and moisture from entering the grain
  • Kills insects and microbial organisms by stopping renewal of oxygen that is consumed by pests and by the grain and accumulating carbon dioxide
  • Preserves grain quality and allows storage for up to two years
  • No need to use fumigants and insecticides for conservation
  • Culturally accepted and adopted by farmers in Africa South of the Sahara 

Key points to design your business plan

For manufactures: 

The production of PICS hermetic bags for grain preservation is a significant opportunity, offering farmers a cost-effective, safe, and efficient solution to prevent losses due to inadequate storage at small-scale levels.

In order to make this venture successful, you need to identify reliable suppliers for manufacturing machines and obtaining the necessary raw materials, such as plastic sheets and woven polypropylene bags. (details currently not available)

Your potential customers are : wholesale distributors of hermetic bags to retailers, and to development projects, government agencies, and NGOs. 

Building strong partnerships with wholesale distributor networks and suppliers of machinery and raw materials is key to the success of your business.

As for the cost structure, the initial investment for a bag manufacturing machine is about $25,000 USD. Details about the raw material costs and labor expenses are location dependent, and need to be collected for your business plan.

For resellers: 

Selling hermetic bags not only provides a valuable product but also fosters closer engagement with users while simultaneously reducing the reliance on insecticides during grain storage.

To successfully navigate this market, you need to know where to source hermetic bags in bulk, identify efficient transportation methods, and explore suitable storage facilities (More details will be available soon).

Your potential customer base is: small, local retailers, development projects, producers, and producer cooperatives or associations. 

Establishing strong partnerships with hermetic bag manufacturers and transportation providers.

As for the cost structure, details will be available soon.

For users: 

The utilization of PICS hermetic bags for storage guarantees the integrity of grains, ensuring they are free from aflatoxin and storage insecticide residues, all at an affordable cost. These bags help you to save expenses associated with purchasing chemical pesticides.

As key partners you need sellers of  hermetic bags.

The cost structure, the unit bag price is set at $1-1.5 USD. 

You need to estimate the profit realized with the use of the bag (more details will be available soon)


Positive or neutral impact

Adults 18 and over
Positive high
The poor
Positive high
Under 18
Positive medium
Positive high

Positive or neutral impact

Climate adaptability
It adapts really well
Adaptability for farmers
It helps a lot
It helps them grow and thrive
Carbon footprint
It doesn't reduce emissions at all
It makes a little difference
Soil quality
It doesn't harm the soil's health and fertility
Water usage
It uses a little less water

Countries with a green colour
Tested & adopted
Countries with a bright green colour
Countries with a yellow colour
Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burundi Burkina Faso Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Côte d’Ivoire Eritrea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Cameroon Kenya Libya Liberia Madagascar Mali Malawi Morocco Mauritania Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Zambia Senegal Sierra Leone Zimbabwe Somalia South Sudan Sudan South Africa Eswatini Tanzania Togo Tunisia Chad Uganda Western Sahara Central African Republic Lesotho
Countries where the technology has been tested and adopted
Country Tested Adopted
Benin Tested Not adopted
Burkina Faso Tested Adopted
Burundi Tested Not adopted
Cameroon Tested Not adopted
Central African Republic Tested Not adopted
Côte d’Ivoire Tested Adopted
Democratic Republic of the Congo Tested Not adopted
Gabon Tested Adopted
Ghana Tested Adopted
Kenya Tested Not adopted
Malawi Tested Not adopted
Mozambique Tested Not adopted
Rwanda Tested Not adopted
Senegal Tested Adopted
South Sudan Tested Not adopted
Tanzania Tested Not adopted
Uganda Tested Not adopted
Zambia Tested Adopted

This technology can be used in the colored agro-ecological zones. Any zones shown in white are not suitable for this technology.

Agro-ecological zones where this technology can be used
AEZ Subtropic - warm Subtropic - cool Tropic - warm Tropic - cool

Source: HarvestChoice/IFPRI 2009

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are applicable to this technology.

Sustainable Development Goal 3: good health and well-being
Goal 3: good health and well-being
Sustainable Development Goal 8: decent work and economic growth
Goal 8: decent work and economic growth
Sustainable Development Goal 2: zero hunger
Goal 2: zero hunger

Polypropylene Woven Bag Production:

  1. Melt polypropylene granules to create a pliable material.
  2. Form the pliable material into strings.
  3. Initiate the winding process to form a bobine (a spool or cylinder-like structure).
  4. Utilize a knitting machine to weave the bobine into bags.

Polyethylene Inner Liner Production:

  1. Heat raw or recycled plastic grains to soften them.
  2. Melt the softened plastic to a workable state.
  3. Shape and blow the plastic to create a thin layer.
  4. Allow the thin layer to cool and solidify.
  5. Combine the plastic layers into rolls.
  6. Cut the rolls to the desired size for inner liners.

Last updated on 15 July 2024